Dental Implants

Options for replacing teeth

Advanced Periodontal Disease: where many teeth are loose and there is insufficient bone support for these teeth.

Advanced Periodontal Disease
Gross Caries to Bone Level: When teeth are decayed all the way to the bone and there is no way the teeth can be saved.

Gross Caries to Bone Level
Large Root Abscesses: The tips of the roots of teeth in bone have been abscess and infected for so long that large bone loss has occurred and it is necessary to extract the teeth.

Large Root Abscesses
Dentures do not fit well or have poor suction etc.

Dentures dont fit

Options for replacing multiple missing teeth

Implant-Assisted Prosthesis

Locator Abutments
Locator Abutments
Bar and Clips

Bar and Clips

Implant-Supported Prosthesis

Fixed Hybrid Denture

Fixed Hybrid Denture
Fixed Implant Bridge

Fixed Implant Bridge

Cone Beam Computerized Tomography

Cone Beam CT Machine

What is Cone Beam Computerized Tomography (CT)

Similar to a hospital CT scan, a cone beam CT takes a 3 Dimensional image of bones and hard skeletal structures such as teeth.  Essentially its a 3D X-ray.

This is a relevant and important topic for implant dentistry today. When a patient desires a dental implant, there are important considerations in the planning of where the surgeon will place that implant in solid bone.

A 3D X-ray such as a Cone Beam CT will allow for the surgeon to visualize in 3 Dimensional space where they can exactly place the implant. This is extremely important because it allows them to avoid vital structures such as nerves and blood vessels. Also, it helps them to plan for possible grafting necessary when the bone is insufficient to place an implant.

The Cone Beam CT is an excellent diagnostic tool which will enable your surgeon to avoid any complications or pitfalls in your surgery, before he goes into surgery.

The American Dental Associate and California Dental Associate both recommend a Cone Beam CT be taken before any dental implant is placed.

Below you can view the capability of this machine, and some of the 3D models it can produce.

Cone Beam CT Xrays

Better Fitting Dentures

Straumann Locator abutment

Many patients with dentures and partials have trouble with the retention of their dentures. It is often a complaint that friends or family have dentures and can “eat apples and corn on the cob, however, my denture will not allow me to do that.”

We must understand that not everyone’s jaws and gums are the same. Certain characteristics make it easier to wear dentures and have them stay in better, other characteristics make it difficult for dentures and partials (especially lowers) to get good suction and stay in place while eating or speaking.

If you are a patient who is facing this challenge, you may want to consider an investment in implants. We have the capability in dentistry to modify your existing denture to clip on to the implants.

An advantage of the “locator” abutments is there are severe types of inserts that can be easily interchanged to fit into the denture, once it is modified. These inserts have different capabilities of tightness. They can be set to clip on to the implants very tight or just tight enough to stay in place. This enables older patients or patients with disabilities to easily remove the dentures.

Dental Implant 1 Dental Implant Underside
Denture

Once the implants are placed and the abutments are attached. They will require 6 month maintenance. They should be cleaned regularly at home. About every 6 months to 1 year the replaceable inserts may need changing to maintain strong attachment.

History of Implantology

This is a technical explanation for the dental professional about the history of implantology. Its beginnings with Dr. Branemark and the innovations in osseointegration which has brought us to modern implantology today.

 

Educational Implant Powerpoint

The educational implant powerpoint below is meant to educate the Dental Health Professional. Therefore some of the terminology is quite complex. However, many dental patients may also find this information useful to understand the background of dental implants. This will allow them to have correct expectations for their treatment options and allow them to ascertain the limitations of treatment. (Click here for fullscreen).

 

Dental Implants – Home Care Instructions

Dental ImplantsIf you have just had your implant prosthesis inserted or are considering an implant prosthesis, you may be wondering what procedures are necessary for the proper maintenance of your new prosthesis. Well, here’s the whole story in a nutshell! The home care needed for dental implants is probably more important than that required for your natural teeth. The appliances that we fabricate on top of dental implants are wonders of engineering but unfortunately, can not be designed to be maintenance free. There are many areas around the implants and the prosthesis that need special attention to make sure that dental plaque does not accumulate. As with your own teeth, plaque, a sticky substance that adheres to teeth and is a breeding area for bacteria, must be removed at least every 12 hours to avoid potential periodontal ( peri-implant ) disease. What are the tools needed to combat peri-implant disease and how should they be implemented.

The care of your Implant Prosthesis consists of three steps:

  1. Educating and training you about proper oral hygiene techniques.
  2. Removal of plaque and calculus (tartar) on a regular basis by your Hygienist.
  3. Maintaining meticulous oral hygiene between your recall visits.

Home plaque control is a critical component of your implant care. The following devices have proved extremely helpful in plaque removal and as tools in the proper maintenance of dental implant/prostheses.

  •   Soft Toothbrush, End Tuft Brush, Proxy Brush™v
  •   Dental Floss( i.e. Post Care Dental Implant Floss, SuperFloss™ )
  •   Rotadent™
  •   Oral Irrigation Devices ( i.e. Water Pik™)
  •   Mouthwashes containing essential oils ( i.e. Listerine™ )

Individual Instruction sheets are available for each of the above mentioned cleaning aids. Your dentist and hygienist are also available to assist you in any way they can. Remember, it’s not the tool that counts, but the elbow grease behind it.

The proper maintenance of your dental implant prosthesis must be a good blend of proper hygiene technique, appropriate instrumentation and adequate frequency. Your hygienist will suggest a suitable recall schedule for you based upon the complexity of your dental restoration. She or he will also demonstrate each and every technique so that you can become familiar with the tools that are required for implant care. Then it’s up to you. With a little effort, your dental implant prosthesis can provide you with years of comfort, satisfaction and service.

Answers to Commonly Asked Questions

This page is intended to answer some of the questions you may have regarding dental implants.

  1. What are dental implants?
    Dental implants are basically sophisticated screws made of a medically pure metal, Titanium. These screws are then placed in the jaw bone and rest under the gum for 3 – 6 months. During this time they actually fuse to the jawbone and become osseo(bone)integrated. After the appropriate healing time, we uncover the implants and use them to replace one or more missing teeth by fabricating some sort of dental prosthesis.
  2. How long have implants been used in dentistry?
    Dental implants have been available for the past 50 or so years. There are significant differences, however, between the various types of implants that have been used to replace missing teeth. These differences are important since they are directly related to the implants success rates. The implants currently in use today, OSSEOINTEGRATED IMPLANTS, were originally developed in Sweden by Dr. P.I. Branemark., a Swedish Orthopedist approximately 25-30 years ago. They have been used in the U.S. for the past 12 years.
  3. I understand they originated in Sweden? Is there a difference between the different implant manufacturers?
    All implants in use in the United States are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Originally, the only system available was the Noblepharma™ Branemark implant. Today, there are numerous implant companies in use on a daily basis. All of these companies are FDA approved and must meet very stringent requirements. Your dental team will choose the system that is best for you and the one that allows them to accomplish your mutual restorative goal.
  4. What are implants made of?
    Implants are made of commercially and medically pure Titanium. This is the same metal that has been successfully used in hip implants for many years. It is inert and is not known to cause any type of rejection phenomenon.
  5. How complicated is the surgery?
    Implant surgery is done in two stages. The first stage involves the placement of the implants into the available jaw bone. This is most commonly done with just local anesthesia. It is complicated only in the sense that the surgery requires great precision. Every attempt is made to insure success. The room is set up similar to an operating room, the equipment thoroughly sterilized and the most modern techniques utilized. Stage two involves the uncovering of the implants after they have integrated ( fused ). This can be accomplished with minor gum surgery or with a dental laser and is a relatively minor procedure. In both instances, minimal postoperative discomfort is noticed. You will be given the appropriated antibiotics and analgesics just as a precaution. Very definitive postoperative instruction will be given to you at the time of surgery. If you follow the guidelines, everything should proceed without a hitch.
  6. Can implants be rejected?
    No! They are made of an inert metal which has no history of rejection by the body. They are not a living organ such as the lung or liver and therefore there is no rejection phenomenon. If failure should occur, and this is only a remote possibility, it is mechanical in nature and not due to rejection by the body. By the way, depending on the source you read, implants are anywhere from 85-95 percent successful depending upon certain factors such as implant location, amount and quality of bone etc. These factors will be evaluated before we place your implants. If you have any questions regarding this or any other aspect of the implant process, ask your dentist. If I lose several teeth, do they each have to be replaced with a separate implant? No. Although implants simulate the roots of teeth, biomechanically one implant can be used to replace one or more teeth. This will depend upon the mechanical requirements of your chosen prosthesis. At your consultation your dentist will discuss the various treatment alternatives and the type and number of implants that are needed in order to fulfill our treatment objectives.
  7. What about infection and complications?
    During the surgery every attempt is made to maintain a totally sterile field. This tends to minimize any potential for postoperative infection. Once again, your dentist will prescribe the appropriate antibiotics as a precautionary measure. Once the implants have been engaged in your prosthesis, it is imperative for you to maintain scrupulous oral hygiene. Success very often depends on your cooperation and homecare efforts.
  8. What types of restorations can be placed on implants?
    The answer to this question depends upon your treatment objectives. This can vary from simple removable prostheses, using the implants for retention , to totally implant supported porcelain fused to metal crowns and bridges. Implant bridges can be either removable or fixed (not removable) depending upon the number of implants. We are now finally able to replace single or multiple missing teeth returning the dentition to a biologically healthy and esthetically pleasing state.
  9. Will I be able to chew and function normally?
    Yes. Once your implants have integrated, you will be able to function normally without any unusual sensations. Your chewing ability will really depend upon the type of prosthesis you have chosen.
  10. How long is the entire implant process?
    Dental implants take approximately 3-4 months in the lower jaw and 6 months in the upper to integrate. Once integrated, it takes several visits to several months to complete the restoration depending upon the complexity.
  11. What is the cost?
    The cost of implant dentistry is based upon a combination of the surgical phase and the prosthetic phase. Your total treatment fee will depend upon the number of implants and the complexity of your final restoration.

We hope that this brief explanation will answer some of your questions regarding implant dentistry. Your dentist will be happy to discuss any of these questions with you at your consultation. Please write down your questions so that we can be sure to answer them to your satisfaction